Handbook of Organised Crime and Politics
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Handbook of Organised Crime and Politics

Edited by Felia Allum and Stan Gilmour

This multidisciplinary Handbook examines the interactions that develop between organised crime groups and politics across the globe. This exciting original collection highlights the difficulties involved in researching such relationships and shines a new light on how they evolve to become pervasive and destructive. This new Handbook brings together a unique group of international academics from sociology, criminology, political science, anthropology, European and international studies.
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Chapter 7: Bulgaria: organised crime, private security and the state post-1989

Marina Tzvetkova


Organised crime in Bulgaria emerged in response to the social and economic conditions after the fall of Communism: weak institutions and the plentiful opportunities for illicit and semi-legitimate business transactions. To shed light on the role of the political elite and the state in the emergence and the evolution of organised crime, this chapter looks at the formal and informal relationships between various groups of actors after 1989– elite athletes, former state law enforcement officers, and members of the political and business elite – and the impact these links had. This chapter argues that Communist elites pursuing their own enrichment and survival strategies, and the post-Communist elites pursuing political and economic power willingly, through intentional transactions, or inadvertently (by being incompetent in their positions), assisted the development of mafia-like organisations in Bulgaria.

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